Sunday, February 27, 2005

We gotta get out of this place

From the WaPo today we learn that "Fix Social Security by destroying it" movement may be in some trouble with the folks who claim to be supporting it:

Even critics eager to read the obituary for the most ambitious version of Bush's Social Security plan acknowledge it is too early to write it. But the initial response suggests the idea is struggling.

Many anxious GOP legislators say they have received clear caution signals from constituents on trips home, and several polls reflect the headwind Bush is facing. Significantly, a recent Washington Post poll, conducted in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, showed that personal accounts win majority support from voters, but that support drops well below 50 percent when people learn details.

These details include the long-term cost of the change, which the White House acknowledges is in the trillions of dollars; the risk to people who choose the investment option; and the fact that personal accounts do not extend the solvency of Social Security unless they are paired with benefit cuts or tax increases in the traditional program.


And this:

Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said that he is discussing with Democratic colleagues a compromise plan that would guarantee low-income beneficiaries will do better under a new program than the existing system, even if this increases the program's cost.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says this:

...Reid has declared that Senate Democrats are united in their opposition to personal accounts carved out of Social Security. That is a deal-killer if true, since as a practical matter the most controversial ideas typically need a supermajority of 60 votes to end filibusters and allow a vote.

And of course the popular support is pretty conditional; those who understand the proposals don't like them:

Many anxious GOP legislators say they have received clear caution signals from constituents on trips home, and several polls reflect the headwind Bush is facing. Significantly, a recent Washington Post poll, conducted in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, showed that personal accounts win majority support from voters, but that support drops well below 50 percent when people learn details.

Folks, wake the neighbors, tell the kids, keep the pressure on, this pig won't ever sing.